My first "build" video - the "Walktail Kit"

Put this kit together last year for a special project. I basically wanted a "marchable drumset". I needed a kick sound, a snare sound, and a hat sound, and I needed them to project outdoors, and be light / nimble enough to move with.

This is what I came up with! 

(Featuring music from Silencio)

And now a bit of how it sounds!

Shuitar!

I've been super into the Shuitar ever since I saw the Wood Brothers cover Michael Jackon's "PYT" on an episode of the Onion's AV Club Undercover.  

It's basically a cheap guitar that is specially made to be used as a percussion instrument. There are jingles added, foam muffling inside the body, a special bridge, and a few other modifications to make it similar to a guitar-shaped cajon.

So, I took that Shuitar, added a Boss RC-202 Loop Station, a Shure Beta 98AD/C mic , and an LP Finger Shot Shaker and proceeded to mess around with some effects / loops.

Enjoy!

 

Messing around with my #Shuitar and my @bossfx_us RC-202 Loop Station

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Update! Let's do some reading, shall we?

Hi all! 

Sorry for taking so long since posting any real content.

I'm definitely a band in their sophomore slump right now. Had a whole backlog of good material for my first album (video), and getting over the hump on the second one is TRIIIIICKY.

I underestimated how long it was going to take to keep making these videos. I thought I'd get the hang of the tools and be able to increase my speed on that learning curve (I've never done anything like this before).  I was wrong -- the tools were easy enough that I had familiarity with the full set of what I needed after my first video -- the reason these take time is just because there's a LOT of steps involved.

I have a TON of ideas I'd like to share, but I just don't think I'm going to be able to crank the videos out at the speed I'd like, given my other time commitments (family, day job, bands, etc.).

Here's my solution: I can crank out written articles much quicker, and I think I can cover everything that I want to in that medium.

Pros:
a - I'm good at writing documentation -- I do a lot of it for my day job, and it's something the ex-teacher in me really enjoys.
b - Me, personally, if given the choice between a video and a written / illustrated article, I'll ALWAYS choose the article. I like being able to skim / read at my own pace, I don't have to rewind things if I miss something, and it's easier for my brain to fit all the pieces together. Maybe other people are like that, too? 
c - Less production time on articles (compared to videos) also means less lead-time is needed. I'd love to have the people who actually listen to / enjoy this stuff help decide what gets covered next. We could almost do a weekly poll to determine that week's topic, pulling from a list that we curate together.
d - My own voiceover performance is my least favorite part of my existing videos. Eliminating that actually reduces a lot of the stress in making these
e - The tone of voice shouldn't change much -- the way I speak in my videos is exactly the way I write -- I write the script out first, then read directly from that when I'm doing voiceover. So if you liked my tone in the videos, it should translate to the written page. If you didn't like my tone...well... sorry, I guess?  :)

Cons:
a - Loses some sharing potential -- I see a lot of sharing videos on Instagram, less sharing long-form articles. Twitter is good for that, but the drumming community seems to have clustered around Instagram as the preferred social network.

I am planning on still putting together a teaser video for articles (example) -- I can do those quickly, as there's no voiceover and no sync concerns. I'll still be taking / using lots of photographs (and even video clips where it makes sense) for the articles, so I can just string a bunch of those together with some music and a title screen. Those are easy to share on Instagram, so that will help with the spreadability (I hope!)

 


So what do you think? Would you read a drum-gear-geek blog? I know there's the amazing Drum Gear Review site, but that tends to be more focused on traditional kit / snare / cymbal reviews, while I've always kind of seen this project as more on the "geek" side of drumming -- everything from comparing the minutia of multipads, to analog synths that are best for drummers who saw Josh Dion and flipped TF out, to a super-juicy shaker rundown (literally all things that I have in progress).
And also, would anyone be interested in trying a topic-by-committee approach?

TL,DR: I'm going to write for a bit, not talk. Would you like to read for a bit, not watch?

 

The "Atmo Kit"

Was trying out something new for a new project -- wanted to try to see how far away from a "traditional" drumset I could go while still keeping the general "layout" -- I didn't want it to become a multiple percussion setup.

This was one of my early versions - a 26" Gretsch kick with no muffling, a heavily muffled 16" Gretsch floor tom on the right side, an unmuffled 18" Gretsch floor tom on the left, a Morfbeats Marvin and Rhythm Tech Reco-Reco as the "snare", an LP Shekere + Rhythm Tech Hat Trick Tambourine as hi hats, and a 19" Meinl Byzance Extra Dry crash.

Really enjoyed playing this setup! I've got some more clips on my Instagram, but this is probably my favorite.

First attempt. Sloppy. But think there might be something to this rig.

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